Henry is our Welsummer rooster. We got Henry for free as a 4wk old cockerel… He was small and little thin. He was lowest on the pecking order and in the middle of his growth stage (between fuzzy/cute and shiny/beautiful). These factors made him not the most gracious in appearance…
A Little Cockerel
Henry was lonely as a chick… All my hens were grown… so he took to cuddling in my sweatshirt pocket (he still likes that old sweatshirt to this day). To save him from loneliness, we got him some companion chicks. Henry loved his new mini flock of peeps. Even at 6 wks, he proudly puffed out his tiny chest and strutted like he had found his purpose in life. Indeed he had…
Defender of the Flock
Henry grew and grew… but so did one of the other chicks (apparently a cockerel). The other rooster had very little interest in watching out for the hens and as he got to be about a year old, he started beating up on the hens. Henry had always gotten along with the other rooster… until then. Henry did not allow his hens to get beat up… not one bit.
As flock leader, Henry did his job well. He crows when animals try to break in the coop (Best. Alarm system. Ever), He searches for good places to scratch for his hens and he keeps the flock together. Henry also watches the skies and gives warning calls when birds of prey are about. At his call, all the hens run for cover… usually.
One Australorp I had was partly blind (and a little goofy in the head). Henry had to fetch her when he gave warning calls. One time, she was running in circles (it was hard not to laugh in spite of the severity of the situation) in fright… and, of course, going nowhere. Henry ran to her, out of the safety of cover, and led her to the undergrowth.
A Brave Rooster
When Henry was a little less than 2 years old, A big hawk came to try to get a hen. Henry saw the attack early and gave the warning cry. They, he quickly rounded up his hens under the nearest pine tree. However, instead of staying with them, he ran out of cover… into the middle of the lawn! He was right out in the open. Bravely, he crowed as the hawk dove. At this point, looking from the window, I thought… ‘What in the world are you doing, Henry?’ However, Henry must have intimidated the hawk enough with his bold show. The hawk fanned its barred tail, checked its speed and circled a few times. The hawk then evacuated the premises.